View from High School: Midterm tests helpful despite high stress

Samantha Pye

As first semester is beginning to wrap up, Roslyn High School students and staff are faced with their next encounter, midterms: the infamous testing week of cumulative material that, much like finals, everyone knows is coming months in advance, but denies its presence until they’re here. 

For most students, next week they have to take an exam for about three classes, depending on which they’re in. 

For many, teachers and students alike, the week is immensely stressful.

Though they are pressurizing, many believe that there are benefits to taking an exam halfway through the year.

“I think the main purpose of midterms is to help prepare us for our final/AP exam,” sophomore Arwa Adib said. “The tests also weigh a lot, so it can boost your grade if you do well.”

Teachers also see midterms as a good preparation for larger tests.  

“The main purpose of a midterm is to prepare students for taking large content based exams, and to also prepare them for taking tests in an environment that they are not used to or possibly comfortable with, such as a cafeteria filled with hundreds of students,” social studies teacher Dane Solomon said.

Most exams are given in large areas, such as the cafeteria and are administered for an hour and a half, with exceptions to students with extra time and other testing accommodations. 

The tests also show what students do and don’t know so far in the year.

“[They] make sure students are on track and can help grades their grades,” sophomore Max Russ said.

For others, balancing their time when preparing for the week can be difficult, especially with all of the tests loaded on top of each other.  

“It’s a really hectic time, especially while keeping up with other classwork assignments and studying,” sophomore Caroline Aruanno said. 

And having multiple tests in a row on months of material can be hard to fathom. 

“There is so much information to study and all the midterms are jammed on top of one another,” senior Gabrielle Resnick added. 

Midterms are weighed heavier in a student’s second quarter average, and, in many cases also replace the lowest grade earned in that quarter. This can be either harmful or helpful, depending on the grade. 

If the midterm grade is high, the average will increase drastically however if it’s poor, the grade will decline immensely. 

So, in order to ensure a successful grade, students are going the extra mile when it comes to studying, including reviewing old materials, attending extra help and retaking practice tests. 

“I have been preparing by studying my notes, outlines, and looking at old exams,” Adib said.

Though the tests are administered to help students’ academic futures, Solomon also believes that they will help them succeed in the long run.

“For most careers today, one must pass an exam or exams,” he said. “To prepare our students for that possible scenario, we provide students with a midterm/final [exam].”

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Samantha Pye

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